Because let’s face it, even if we publish with a traditional publisher, we still have to do our own marketing and the Internet is the best place to do that. There are lots of options, but here’s what I use:
Useful Webstuff (even for non-techies)
For years I hand-coded static webpages, but because I had to find a better solution for the websites I set up for my college students to use, I finally discovered WordPress.
There’s a learning curve if you’re unfamiliar with blogging platforms, even (maybe especially) if you plan to use it for a CMS. But I learned, and now I can’t imagine going back to the “stone age.”
There’s also another issue, a big one for anyone trying to have a business-oreinted Internet presence using only Facebook (I’m talking to you, cousin) or Google+ or Linkedin, or whatever. It’s called Digital Sharecropping, and you should read this article if you find yourself doing just that: Digital Sharecropping: The Most Dangerous Threat to Your Online Marketing
Like Your Grandma Said: If you’re going to do it…
…do it right the first time. Blogging isn’t just a hobby anymore; it’s a business, and you can start with other tools, like WordPress.com or Weebly, but the problem is that if you ever decide you want to take it to the next level, you’re facing a LOT more work than if you’d just started out with a self-hosted WordPress site to start with.
I’m not going to describe how to do it–but Michael Hyatt has excellent directions here: How to Launch a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog in 20 Minutes or Less.
Check out all of his other wonderful tips and tools while you’re there!
I hand-coded static webpages (badly) for years. I can do it, but they’re ugly and boring, and totally static. But I’m way too picky about the visual aspects of web design to ever be happy with something like Blogger, or Weebly. I think they’re awesome services, but I always want too much control (even if I don’t use it).
Yes, I know that says something about me. *ahem*
A self-hosted WordPress website is so near free it’s ridiculous (the WP itself is free, but you do have to pay for hosting), and the possibilities are endless!
Websites also need hosting. I haven’t forked out for WordPress-specific hosting, or dedicated IPs or any of that, but I do like Bluehost and they have been eminently reliable and comparatively easy to use for a very reasonable price.
If you’re going to use WordPress, though, and don’t want to learn PHP and/or HTML and CSS, you need a good framework and theme.
That’s the next post in the Great Web Tools Series.
What do you use for your Internet presence?